By OnMilwaukee Staff Writers   Published Dec 11, 2014 at 12:06 PM

This morning, the Milwaukee Awards for Neighborhood Development Innovation (the MANDIs) – an awards celebration created to recognize individuals, organizations and corporations that are working to improve conditions in Milwaukee's central city neighborhoods – announced its 15 awards finalists. 

The finalists are organized into five categories, including:

The "Brewers Community Foundation Public Space Award," which recognizes a community-building public space:

  • Holton Bridge Swing Park
  • The ARTery
  • HOME GR/OWN's Ezekiel Gillespie Park

The "BMO Harris Cornerstone Award," which recognizes an organization for their commitment and effectiveness over time:

  • Rotary Club of Milwaukee
  • Express Yourself Milwaukee
  • Pan-African Community Association

The "Northern Trust Navigator Award," which recognizes an individual for leadership and collaboration:

  • La'Ketta Caldwell, Boys & Girls Club of Greater Milwaukee
  • Venice Williams, Alice's Garden
  • Todd Hutchison, Impact Seven

The "PNC Bank Trail Blazer Award," which recognizes an innovative approach to a community problem:

  • Cream City Gardens and Rain Harvesting Project, Guest House of Milwaukee
  • Sisters Diversion Project, Benedict Center
  • Mobile Bike Hub, Layton Boulevard West Neighbors

The "State Farm Building Blocks Award," which recognizes a community-advancing real estate project:

  • Zilber School of Public Health
  • Veterans Administration Community Resource and Referral Center, MLK Drive

The finalists were selected from public nominations by a 40-member, independent and cross-sector volunteer committee. Meanwhile, a sixth category – the "Wells Fargo Peoples Choice Award" – will go to the three finalists who receive the most public votes throughout the month of April.

The actual winners, featured through video vignettes, will be announced at a gala held at Potawatomi Hotel and Casino on Wednesday, April 15.